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Forward thinking: Trap earmarks 'Totti' role for Robbie

“At this moment, I want to give Robbie the opportunity to play between the midfield and a striker.”

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni at the Grand Hotel in Malahide today.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni at the Grand Hotel in Malahide today.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

IRELAND MANAGER GIOVANNI Trapattoni reckons skipper Robbie Keane can be his Francesco Totti.

The Boys in Green face the Czech Republic tomorrow at the Aviva Stadium with the LA Galaxy forward set to partner Shane Long up front.

After the Italian named his side, he explained that he expected Keane to play in a more withdrawn role.

“Two years ago, maybe three years ago I said about Robbie, Robbie can play like Totti. Remember? I said he can play in this position and he can play well.

“At this moment, I want to give Robbie the opportunity to play between the midfield and a striker, because he can read the game and feel how the game will be. Long is a player who can allow Robbie to play deep. For the last month, I have watched Spain and Croatia and other teams, and I want to try this. Tomorrow is a test of this situation. I think Robbie can do both jobs well.”

Keane will return to California after a successful loan spell with Aston Villa, having lined out in a similar position to that which Trap has identified. Kevin Doyle has returned to Wolves having failed a fitness test, meanwhile.

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